Saturday, August 29, 2009

Message from Franciscan Friars (OFM) in Honduras

Our feelings and thoughts as Franciscan friars minor (OFM) in Honduras

With feelings of concern but, at the same time, of hope, we address you, a people who are noble, hard-working, humble and with a deep faith, who live your commitment to the God of life in the Honduran reality.

We are concerned about what happened on June 28, 2009, which has broken the constitutional order and has generated negative consequences which deeply affect the Honduran people:

  1. The political and ideological polarization which is dividing families and communities, which in many cases turns violent.
  2. The economic and social erosion which we are experiencing and which is bringing about greater impoverishment.
  3. The violation of human rights, namely: the violation of the freedom of expression and demonstration, the excessive use of force and repression by the state’s security forces against the demonstrators against the coup d’état; the incursion with excessive force by elements of the state security forces in the Autonomous [National] University of Honduras; direct repression toward some communications media; the prolongation of the curfew, especially in the areas around the frontier with Nicaragua; the militarization of some cities; the harassment and lack of guarantees for some leaders in the social movement.
  4. The evident deterioration of the health of the Honduran people.
  5. Disrespect and slander toward public persons.
  6. The vulnerability of children and adolescents, not receiving classes in a systematic manner.
  7. Threats against Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez.
  8. The persecution of some priests of the Catholic Church who support the organized people.
  9. The disinformation, manipulation and slander coming forth from the communications media which, instead of contributing to public opinion, sharpen the polarization and conflict.
  10. The violence which has occurred in some demonstrations.

As Franciscan Friars Minor (OFM) who accompany the Honduran people, present in different dioceses, we wish to intensify our commitment for reconciliation, justice, and peace:

  1. Promoting actions which lead to strengthening reconciliation in the family and the community.
  2. Assistance and accompaniment of actions which promote dialogue for social reconstruction.
  3. Exhorting openness to diversity of thought and to tolerance of [other] ideologies.
  4. Strengthening the formation of Critical Consciousness and social solidarity.
  5. Promoting the formation and spirituality of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation.
  6. We support national and international initiatives that favor the restitution of democracy and the rule of law in Honduras.
  7. Promoting the distribution of the reports of international Organizations which [seek to] guarantee Democracy, Human Rights, and social development.
  8. Encouraging and maintaining hope, believing in “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), where there arise men and women who are promoters of a society of solidarity, which is participative and committed to the common good, and of the quality of life of the majority who are impoverished.

We conclude with the blessing of Saint Francis for all men and women of good will:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
may he show you his countenance and have mercy on you.
May he look kindly on you and give you his peace.
May the Lord bless you, brothers.”


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